backstageadd ND

The Skillet

The Skillet

Postby raycyrx » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:18 am

This little Mom and Pop that specializes in "Broasted Chicken" has had many owners over the last few decades. When I worked there in the early 80's, it was owned/run by Don and Sue Murphy. While the building is a bit of a hole in the wall, they tried to present their product as a bit more upscale than a local dive. For the hours they were opened I always thought they brought in a good amount of business, and served a fine menu that was a bit under their presentation. After all, how upscale can one sell fried chicken? The other mainstays were jumbo (non butterflied) shrimp, ham steak, chopped steak, fillet of sole, fried perch, and filet mignon (no bacon, just the cut).

I can't say that I followed their business very closely as owners/operators changed in the years since. I've noticed they had "polish menu" added by their marquis, and they sometimes had a delivery business too.

New owners came online a few years ago, and many in the area were excited by this prospect. When we were given (as Christmas presents) tickets for two free carry out chicken dinners, I was anxious to give the food a try again. Disappointed can't begin to describe the experience.

We called in our order for two 8 piece dinners at shortly before five, and asked that they be ready for pick up at 5:45. I was told, "no problem," even though I was concerned that an order placed that soon before pick up might be troublesome. Then again, given that they do a buffet on Saturdays, I didn't think it would be much of a problem.

When we arrived, a host/cashier came halfway out to our car to greet us, in what I'd almost call an overly excited sort of manner. He didn't exit the building to do so, but came farther that I'd have expected. In doing so, I kind of expected him to know my daughter, who had accompanied me, from high school. That didn't seem to be the case. After asking if he could seat us, I explained I was there for a scheduled carry out. We were five minutes late for the agreed upon time. He checked with the kitchen and told me the chicken was finishing up frying. No problem for me. I wasn't on a critical schedule, and Saturdays were always the busy evening there. However, while the tables seemed to be full, we were then the only ones in the waiting area. I also took notice that some of the what had been waiting area when I worked there was walled off for storage. As we continued to wait for our food to be prepped, no less than three other staff members asked if we could be seated. Again, not overly aggressive/assertive, but a bit on the overly (fake really) friendly manner. After an acceptable period of time, our food was brought to us. It included two frosted brownie dishes that I did not expect and heightened my anticipation of a good meal even further.

We drove home and less than 20 minutes after accepting our carry out order, began to eat. The mashed potatoes had some greenery added to them to give them some color. A bit unnecessary as these potatoes had an odd color of their own. They looked as if the potato skins had been included in the mashing. Impossible since I found many spots of dry mashed potato mix still in the food. Also, dry can't begin to describe the quality of the potatoes. The dinner came with a healthy amount of chicken gravy, so I dolloped on a good amount to cover the quality. I'd give the gravy a "C." Not bad, just not good enough, either, to cover for the quality of the potatoes. Disappointed, I then tried the chicken. Again, this is the mainstay of their product, and I picked two wings to start with. I'd been a wing man ever since working at The Skillet. It was there that I perfected my ability to eat an entire wing in two bites. Not two bites per section, but two bites per wing. Much of this ability requires that the meat be very tender. Again, I was disappointed. The coating had a standard, 'fried chicken,' taste to it, and the meat was dry beyond belief. That was a bit difficult to understand since we had to wait an extra 15 minutes from scheduled pick up time for our chicken to finish up. Next I tried a drumstick. Passable, but again, the coating and taste was nothing special. Many of my family members, by this time, started to weigh in with their thoughts. Most by pushing their plates away. I announced, "well, when the meat is dry, try a thigh," which got groans from the audience. It was moist enough, as thighs are the fattiest section, but it also had what can only be described as an "odd taste." No idea what it was, just something not expected... nor, I believe, intended. The green beans were also rejected by those that tried them. My wife, a breast woman (no pun intended), struggled to get through her piece. She said, "well, at least it was free."

As we cleared the table, the kids saw the frosted brownies and asked if they could dig in. At first I expressed concern that if we took the cover off, they might absorb all the humidity from the house. I got a butter knife out to make cutting and serving easier. My seventeen year old then proceeded to have to hammer the knife through the cake. She put a hole in the foil pan in the process. I pulled out a piece for me and struggled to bite through. I figure the frosting (pudding like in consistency) was added to just to give some moistness to the cake. I didn't help. After one bite, I could see a stratified layer just under the frosting that gave the brownie a look like it had sat around, open to the air, for a good month. Brownies don't dry out or go stale too terribly quickly, and these were awful in that manner. My five year old went to throw his away, and my wife told him to eat anyway. He said, "I can't bite through it!" That pretty much summed up our experience.
The Church is not a hotel for saints. It is a hospital for sinners.
St. Augustine
User avatar
raycyrx
 
Posts: 3251
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:15 pm

Re: The Skillet

Postby eascheetz » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:13 am

I have been told that their polish buffet is great (but as a veg-head, there isn't much for me to try). How can you mess up mashed potatoes??
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix
User avatar
eascheetz
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:56 am
Location: Northside of South Bend

Re: The Skillet

Postby bob_rx2000 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:35 am

eascheetz wrote:I have been told that their polish buffet is great (but as a veg-head, there isn't much for me to try). How can you mess up mashed potatoes??

Mashed potatoes are messed up by definition, IMO. I have to agree with Raycyrx on The Skillet, although out of respect for Mrs-Bob_Rx's childhood memories of the place I haven't said much. You can skip the "polish buffet" too.
Bob_Rx2000
"Because, Gentlemen, I don't trust you..." Gunning Bedford, U.S. Constitutional Convention
"First God created the idiot. That was for practice. Then he created the School Board." Mark Twain
User avatar
bob_rx2000
 
Posts: 3981
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:27 am
Location: South Bend, in a subdivision scheduled for annexation

Re: The Skillet

Postby Bear » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:23 pm

bob_rx2000 wrote:
eascheetz wrote:I have been told that their polish buffet is great (but as a veg-head, there isn't much for me to try). How can you mess up mashed potatoes??

Mashed potatoes are messed up by definition, IMO. I have to agree with Raycyrx on The Skillet, although out of respect for Mrs-Bob_Rx's childhood memories of the place I haven't said much. You can skip the "polish buffet" too.



St. Adalberts or St. Hedwigs in South Bend have the BEST polish-style dinners you could ever enjoy. Love mashed potatos with butter and sour cream, and great mixing your corn with it as well! But the polish cabbage and noodles are the show stoppers!!!
You're darn right I do it in the woods!
User avatar
Bear
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:47 am
Location: Michiana wilderness...what's left of it.

Re: The Skillet

Postby dunk50 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:38 pm

Sunday we had a small (immediate family of 25) party for my Grandsons Baptism. We had the skillet cater it in and I have to tell you it was awesome. Mashed potatoes were a little on the dry side but EVERYTHING else was as stated, awesome. Put a little gravy on those mashed potatoes and dig in. Chicken, sausage, noodles, cabbage, gravy, rolls and plenty of all of it. Maybe not like the old Polish weddings but close enough for those of us that don't get enough of this kind of cooking between wedding invitations!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Military at 17, 7th SFG Ft. Bragg, 10th SFG Bad Tolz, 5th SFG Nam, 34 Years South Bend Police and retired. Should be fishin but I'm on here!
User avatar
dunk50
 
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: The Skillet

Postby raycyrx » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:12 pm

Agreed. Hedwigs and Adalberts have a little gold mine that should be marketed better.
The Church is not a hotel for saints. It is a hospital for sinners.
St. Augustine
User avatar
raycyrx
 
Posts: 3251
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:15 pm


Return to Restaurant reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron